'The Voice' Coach Adam Levine Apologizes After Claims of Favoritism

The Voice coach Adam Levine half-apologized for what many fans saw as favoritism following the controversial elimination of DeAndre Nico last week.

In Monday's episode of the NBC singing competition, Levine addressed fans who were angry he advocated for team member Reagan Strange over Nico in the Instant Save last week, despite the 14-year-old being unable to sing due to illness in that episode.

"It was a strange week, but it’s over now," Levine said of the backlash he received. He also showed himself and Strange FaceTiming in a pre-taped segment, with Nico, saying, “DeAndre’s my boy. I love him. We talked.”

Nico responded during the call, “Do your best, man, and stay positive.”

That was it for Levine addressing the elephant in the room as he told Strange following her performance, “I was so connected with you the whole time [she was singing]," then asking viewers to vote her through to the finale.

The eliminated singer might have seemed back on good terms with Levine in Monday's episode, but he seemed way more put off by his former coach's behavior immediately following the elimination while speaking with local news outlet 12NewsNow.

"It was just weird because I just felt like, not being rude, I just felt like he sold me out, you know? And I just don't respect it, just being honest," Nico told the outlet of his elimination alongside Blake Shelton's singer Dave Fenley. "We did our job, sick or not. I just got over laryngitis, and when I came back, I still sang. It wasn't none of that anxiety or none of that stuff. I know she's a little kid, but it's like man, you could have put in some words for me at all. Like something, something."

Levine's apology appears to have struck the wrong chord with many viewers, however, who thought that Nico seemed to have been forced into absolving the Maroon 5 frontman.

"When Adam said 'DeAndre’s my boy. It’s all good,' it was indeed a lie- but more than that—it was the flippant tone in which he said it along with a half laugh," one viewer tweeted. "It’s NOT all good - DeAndre is GONE. And you didn’t and clearly still don’t give a rat’s a—. #TheVoice."

Another wrote, "So Adam doesn't have the guts to talk about DeAndre except on a taped segment. He proves yet again what a coward he is. #TheVoice."

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The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo credit: Tyler Golden/NBC